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Poet Laureate - Details

June 21, 2017

Now: The First Day of Summer

It’s the first day of summer today, and I’m sharing one of my favorite summer poems (although it’s more precisely a “coming of age” poem) by Michael Brennan. I hope you enjoy it, as I hope you enjoy this molten, magical season—may it bring out the kid in all of us! Wishing you persimmons and rosemary, slanted light, and cherries for days. xoKate

There and Then

By Michael Brennan

Friends in a field, their shadows running long into the untilled ground, and I’m busy trying to catch up, calling for them to hold on a moment, the voice unfamiliar and the words not my own, and when I wake I realize the last thing I called to them might have been the name of the town we were all looking for, but now it’s a summer morning, the light coming in urgent with day, sheets strewn at the end of the bed, and by the time my mind reaches out for it, that name or word or thought, it’s gone, perhaps lying there up ahead, with them in the town beyond the old shed at the edge of the field, with its collection of discarded tools, hoes and picks and shovels still caked in loam and soil, the old two-furrow plough and an empty feedbag. There’s a persimmon tree, with its thin covering of leaves and its branches weighed by tightly packed, hard orange orbs, dense and ripening, and a thicket of rosemary sprawling about in the autumn sun, gone wild, looking like it might take over the world with its thick rough tines, the heavy scent that rubs off onto skin and lasts all day even after you wake. But thinking of that town my friends have gone on to, looking out the window at the summer light, the raging open blue of the sky outside, I cross past the old shed to where the harrowed ground forms the first hint of a path between the cherry trees lining the field, to where a pair of jackdaws come in from the north, creamy white throats quiet as the flat slate sky above, flit between some memory of spring, the one gone or the one up ahead.